Friday 6 March 2015

Birthday Weekend Binge Watching

I'm a bit of a loner, a social recluse, except one with friends, I do sometimes venture out of the house to do something "normal" however my first love is hanging out with my cat watching any one of the DVDs and Blu-Ray's I have amassed over the years. I prefer to use my time off work to stay at home for marathon watching sessions. Each year, after my birthday, I usually take a couple of days off work to be miserable and to do some serious watching.

I try to plan my viewing schedule, I do own an unbelievable amount of DVDs so strategy is needed. I know my moods though. There will be a day or two of misery where I'll want to watch old favourites, in the evenings horror will be in order followed by something old and British, or possibly sleaze but not necessarily. I'll also want to fill the mornings with old TV shows and also save a few for when I want a gap between a film.

This post is now going to turn into a glorified list.

Morning Viewing
A mixture of those I've watched before, Here Come the Double Deckers and Grange Hill, both childhood favourites that I love to revisit. The other three are fairly new to me, I'd usually watched the spookier TV shows on the run up to Christmas but I buy so much I need to keep on top and live in the moment rather than "saving for best", The Fenn Street Gang (a spin off from Please Sir!) is new watching but as a lover of 70s culture I'm looking forward to watching for some fashion and make-up inspirations. Oh, and hair, I've already requested a new haircut in the morning (my mother is an ex-hairdresser, trained in the 60s ideal for my old tastes), I'm going for the Carol Hawkins (centre, bottom on the DVD), it isn't too far off  my style now and my hair is thicker but I'll give it a go but without as much fringe, quite apt that her character is called Sharon.

Not all are true fillers, both Grey Gardens and Dennis Potter at LWT are pretty full on, the rest, apart from Look at Life are TV series that I can dip in and out of. I do sometimes get a bit of film burn when watching one after another so these can be seen as the sorbet between courses. Queenie's Castle might make the perfect lunchtime viewing.

A smaller horror selection than usual
Now usually my horror pile is unmanageable but this time I've tried to make sure I pick the ones I will definitely watch. Handgun is more of an action but for me it makes sense to include it here. I have some old loves here with a few Shameless releases, I love Shameless but have chosen just three to be sensible, well Samhain chose the first one, The Black Cat - he thinks its about him, I've tried to explain. Plus a couple of the recent 88 Films Slasher Classics Collection releases, neither of which I've seen before but I have high hopes, I'm a bit sad that once I've watched these I'll have to wait a couple of weeks for another release!

Late Night Selection
My late night selection could almost be called my Network choices, apart from Girl on a Motorcycle they are all Network releases. Late at night I always like to watch either something sleaze or some kitchen sink realism, or random British releases. Unfortunately I've only got four nights off so two will have to wait until the next marathon session.

New Favourites
I've seen none of these films before but there is a strong chance I will love them all which is why they fit under new favourites. For some reason they feel extra special, too special for everyday weekend watching which is why I've saved them to watch on days when I'm on leave - I really have a twisted logic when it comes to the order I watch things in.

New/Old Favourites
 Sandwiched between new and old favourites are the box sets. They compromise of those films I've already viewed and consider favourites and those I'm yet to watch but know I'll love. I don't know if on the day I'll choose an old or new favourite but have a feeling one or both of the Fassbinder box sets will be heavily viewed.

Old Favourites
My selection of old favourites, The Room is terribly bad but incredibly entertaining, it baffles me but I keep watching it - it is in no way a classic but is essential viewing. The rest are a small selection of favourite films, after featuring Louise Brooks autobiography on my Women's History Month book list I felt the urge to watch Diary of a Lost Girl again so I'm hoping to fit it in Sunday morning. The one film out of this selection that is at the top of all my lists this weekend is The Bride Wore Black (La Mariée était en noir) it's one of the most stylish thrillers I've ever watched, I can't stop thinking about it which is why this is essential viewing this weekend. I don't know what else will be watched but I know one I forgot to photograph, a real top 5 favourite of mine, Wings of Desire, I will be curled up in bed being miserable after turning 33, sobbing at how wonderful the film is.

A pretty hefty pile of DVDs/Blu's to watch over the next four days (especially with a couple of social outings with friends and family) but I love a challenge. 


  1. Some great stuff you've got there. I haven't seen much of it towards the bottom of the list but I love Please Sir and FSG, even if they are a bit dated now. Basically, I'll watch anything with Carol Hawkins in *sigh*

    1. I sometimes don't find things considered dated that dated, depending on the context. I tend to watch more TV from before the 90s than current shows. I'm possibly completely dated myself as I don't tend to follow current popular culture. Not that I believe it's all without merit I just prefer older stuff, if I run out of old things to discover I might move on to something considered modern!

      I'm guessing it wasn't the hair!

    2. Oh, I agree completely. My film and TV collection is a nostalgia-fest. I have some contemporary work but largely I'm stuck between 1935 and 2000! I still consider some things to be a bit dated but that only means that they were made in a different era containing accepted cultural mores that have changed in the years since. I'm 42 this year and I still prefer older stuff.

      As for Carol Hawkins... Well, her hair was part of it, of course, but the rest of it was the rest of her! I love her in Carry On Abroad, for example, and her guest appearance in Blake's 7 is always fun.

    3. Oh yeah, there is a difference, some things are outraged and amusing, others are outraged and offensive. Not that we're free of that now, unfortunately. I forgot how mad her hair was, but it's a great way to lighten the hair, I'll be shaping and shortening but not so much round the back. I love Carry on Abroad, I love Carry on in general, grew up with it, still watch repeatedly but have always felt in the minority for liking the 70s films (Convenience, Abroad, Girls, Behind) are my favourites. Convience might have to be watched this morning!

  2. Ooh some great stuff there! Ken Loach at the BBC is naturally a fave of mine, and I really need to see Handgun by Tony Garnett (I need to see Prostitute too, that's currently on my shelf!) I'm currently on Series 4 of Grange Hill it's a shame they never released any more but I believe they're all on YT! Some real goodies here, A Kind Of Loving, Dennis Potter, Human Remains, Harold and Maude, That Sinking Feeling and those French classics too like The Umbrellas of Cherbourg which I adore. Hope the Carol Hawkins look comes off! That's quite a look :)

    1. I'm really looking forward to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, I've been waiting for a special moment to watch it. I really enjoyed Prostitute, I think you'll enjoy it. I'm not sure whether to watch the Ken Loach I've already seen or start with something new to me!

      I won't be going as wild with the fringe, more of a replication of what you can see on the Fenn Street Gang cover, not the colour though, I suit having darker hair. I suppose I'll have to do some styling at some point, I doubt it's as carefree as it looks!

    2. It really is a delightful film, hope you enjoy!

      I recently watched The Price of Coal from that boxset and found that to be a very strong piece. Still need to watch Days Of Hope too. Trivia; The Rank and File which was about the Pilkingtons Strike in St Helens is particularly resonant to me as my dad was one of the strikers.

      I did a post on Carol Hawkins once,

      Basically a picspam, but there's a nice interview there from an old mag and there was a video of her single, but YT has taken it down it would seem :(

    3. I'm sure I will!

      I think I should work through the box set in order, I went out of sync with the Mike Leigh: The BBC collection and I've muddled myself up!

      I really have to make sure my mother doesn't go too mad with the fringe, some truly amazing hairstyles there but I'll keep it simple as my hair never behaves.

      They tend to remove the good videos, for example, two music videos I miss that were on YouTube, the Devo version of Hey Hey My My (Into the Black) and the Killdozer cover of Nasty that was synced with the original Janet Jackson video. I truly miss them.

    4. I forgot to say that The Rank and File is one I haven't seen.

    5. Yeah there's something to be said for watching boxsets in order - less confusing! Mike Leigh's my favourite, if you haven't already guessed.

    6. Now is that all time director or in regard to TV plays? I'm guessing I'm not quite so obvious who my favourite directors but most people that have spoken to me about film (at least at length) know who my most hated, disliked, despised director is.

    7. All time director, I just marvel at the man's talent and nerve to commence projects in the totally distinctive and original way he does. There's not a single film or TV play he has made that I don't rate highly.

      Ooh go on then, who's the most hated??

    8. I've always had a strong like for Mike Leigh, especially as a teenager. I could easily watch Nuts in May on repeat. However, I think I've only watched a tiny percentage of his output.... time to head to Letterboxd!

      Quentin Tarantino. Creepy, overpaid, rip off artist. If he was making b-movies, fine, but people worship him for supposed originality.

    9. Funnily enough, I had a feeling you'd say that! Don't know why, just sensed it. He's certainly divisive, so when people mention directors they hate (or indeed love) chances are his name will swiftly follow.

      I've actually met him, briefly. In a pub in Liverpool. I think personally he's on the autistic rainbow. I do like his stuff, notably Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown. I think Jackie Brown is his best film, though people slated him for it. But then I'm strange with his films; I found the Kill Bill films extremely overrated and empty, the grindhouse homage Death Proof was very interesting but deeply flawed and a bit creepy on the foot fetish front, whilst Inglorious and Django were good commercial fodder and homages to overblown war movies and Spaghetti Westerns.

      I do have a bone to pick with him though regarding Modesty Blaise. I love the books, and he's long expressed an interest in adapting them. He did produce a cheap B movie under 'Tarantino Presents...' to keep his ownership of the rights, but it was dreadful. I really want to see Modesty on the big screen (and Eva Green would be perfect in the role, failing that Gemma Arterton) but I've a feeling he'd muck it up anyway.

      Oh and I hate his cameos in film!

    10. I really think he's is overrated and basically copies or steals so heavily, I think it's part obvious from some of my favourite films why I hate him, all of which I'd recommend watching if you haven't before - The Bride Wore Black, City on Fire, Lady Snowblood. He just can't do anything original.

      I also find him creepy, but not in a good way!

    11. He is a big tea leaf!

    12. Which, if he wasn't paid so highly wouldn't be a problem, it happens with film but the worship of him breaks my heart.